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November 06, 2017

Franklin Square ready to celebrate the holiday season

Find out what's new at the park's Holiday Festival for 2017

Holiday Festivals
07-VanAukenT_voice_20151216_christmas_0198.jpg Tracie Van Auken/for PhillyVoice

Franklin Square features free nightly light shows as well as a functioning carousel throughout the holiday season.

The Franklin Square Holiday Festival will begin on Thursday, Nov. 9. Throughout the holiday season, park visitors will be able to enjoy seasonal attractions and events. A few are new for 2017.

The most popular attraction is the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, presented by PECO. It will take place nightly through Sunday, Dec. 31.

Every evening, someone will be chosen to "ignite" the first show. More than 50,000 lights will illuminate the park as holiday classics play.

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Another popular holiday attraction is the Lightning Bolt Holiday Express, a train that gives kids rides through the park.

As for events, there are theme nights on Fridays. Look forward to a night featuring "Star Wars" characters and another with "Frozen" favorites.

On Saturdays, kids can visit Santa Claus to give him their wish lists and snap pictures together. There are also options to share cookies with Santa as he tells Christmas stories and to have pets pose with Santa.

New this year, there will be a special event on Thursday, Dec. 7. Families can enjoy a dramatic reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" by Justin Hopkins from "A Philly Pops Christmas."

For the 21-plus crowd, the Winter Beer Garden will be open in the evenings. Gather by the outdoor fire pits to drink craft beers, wine and specialty cocktails presented by Cooperage. 

This holiday season try the Coquito Cocktail, which will benefit hurricane relief. For each drink sold during the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, $1 will benefit Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

To eat, there will be empanadas, latkes, turkey legs, soup, churros, fried Oreos, pie and other bites from Squareburger.

Ben's Sweets & Treats also will be back, but with a new gourmet hot chocolate bar and s’more-making station.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival is free to attend. Pay-as-you-go for food & drink. Also, certain events may require tickets.

2017 Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Thursday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 31
4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays
4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Franklin Square
200 N. Sixth St.